In fact, I’ll admit to you that I still get a little red-in-the-face when I try to explain to people why I believe Twitter is a valuable tool and try to describe the benefits of “tweeting.” Mostly because they start to giggle at me. It’s okay. People probably laughed at Christopher Columbus too.
I think the #1 reason people don’t use Twitter is because they aren’t quite sure what THEY would tweet. It’s like when you’re getting ready to call that cute guy or girl for the first time – you practice all kinds of things in your head but nothing seems…well…right. They struggle with questions like:
- What do I have to say that’s worth reading?
- Do people really care what I just ate or am going to eat for lunch?
- What if I’m not as popular as Ashton Kutcher?
- How can you say anything meaningful in 140 characters?
As with most things in life, I try to convince people that you never really figure out Twitter until you use it for awhile. You need to live with it and find ways to incorporate it into the workflow of the day. Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing is a big proponent and user of Twitter. He likes how it helps him connect with people and helps people connect with him. And it’s not that much of a time investment. Hyatt states that it only takes him 5-6 minutes a day to deliver 10-12 tweets (about 30 seconds a tweet). That’s not very much time. But it’s paid off big.
One of the reasons I mention Michael Hyatt is because I’ve connected with him on Twitter. I follow him and he follows me. While that may not mean a whole lot, I like to tell people this story about the power of Twitter:
Occasionally, I’ll try to get my hands on a preview copy of an upcoming book in order to review it prior to or coinciding with it’s release date. There happened to be a new John Maxwell book coming out soon (published through Thomas Nelson) and I wanted to see if I could get a preview copy or pdf. I didn’t know if Thomas Nelson offered this type of service or not. You want to know how I found out if they did? I didn’t email Thomas Nelson or call Thomas Nelson or even look on their website.
I simply sent a “direct tweet” to Michael Hyatt that said, “Do you offer pre-release copies of your books for review purposes?”
Do you know what happened? One hour later, I got a “direct tweet” back from Michael Hyatt that said these two words: “Unfortunately no.”
Now, that may not seem like a big deal to many people – a two word response that told me “no.” But it was so much more than that. I got the answer to my question without a lot of time and research. But the really, really, reeaalllyyy cool thing was I got my answer from the CEO of the company. It was like I just popped my head in his office door and asked my question and he gave me the answer. That, my friends, would never have been possible, or at least that easy, before Twitter came along.
So you still wonder what to tweet about? I answered this question in a tweet once. I said,
“A quality “T.W.E.E.T. is: Timely, Worth-reading, Educational, Entertaining, and Tweople-connecting.”
I realize that last one is a bit cheezy, but people start to really use the language in the Twitterverse once they’re hooked.
For me, I tend to tweet about stuff that’s important to me and maybe, important to somebody else.
- I tweet good quotes that I hear.
- I will take a picture of something amazing or amusing and post it to Twitter.
- I will tweet about something funny that just happened.
- I will tweet links to articles that I found helpful.
- I will tweet breaking news that I hear about.
- I will tweet other tweets (known as a “retweet”) that I want others to hear.
- I will tweet questions or comments to people I know.
- I will tweet questions or comments to people I don’t know.
- I will tweet leadership tips and observations.
- I will tweet to let people know what I’m up to.
There’s probably more that I tweet about. At this point, I’m posting about 6-10 tweets a day. It doesn’t take a lot of time and it’s easy (I do most of it from my iPhone). Some folks have asked me what the little bird at the top right of my website represents with the text under it. That my friends is my latest tweet!
So let me hear from you!
Do you use Twitter and how have you found it helpful? Are we connected on Twitter yet?
On Twitter, I’m @timage